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National Opioid and Substance Awareness Day - FAQs about Substance Treatment

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By Abby Burd, LCSW, full time Mental Health Counselor  September is National Recovery Month. September 21st will also be the first annual National Opioid and Substance Awareness Day. I thought I'd answer some common questions about substance abuse treatment and opioids in particular. What does the word "substance" refer to? In this context, "substance" refers to alcohol and drugs that can be misused, abused, or cause addiction/dependence.  What are "opioids?" Opioids are a class of drugs, including Heroin and painkillers like Fentanyl, OxyContin, Codeine, Vicodin, Hydrocodone, Methadone, etc. Painkillers could be prescribed by a doctor for a legitimate reason and still lead to problems. Other times they are purchased illegally.  Opioids are known for causing both psychological addiction as well as physical dependence and tolerance. Does taking opioids once mean you become addicted? No. Individuals respond differently, and we don't fully know why, a

Fall Workshop Series Announced!

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  MiraCosta College Health Services Announces the  Fall 2021 Personal & Relational Well-Being Workshops Our Mental Health Counselors will host workshops most Tuesdays at 3pm via Zoom. Contact rbenson@miracosta.edu for the Zoom link. Join one or join all! Check out the full fall semester line up below:

Wondering if Your Drinking is Too Much?

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  By Abby Burd, LCSW, full time Mental Health Counselor Many adults find alcohol use fun or relaxing. But how much of a good thing is too much? How do you know when something that might work for your friends isn't working for you? Do you know what red flags indicate you could be having a problem? Perhaps you have wondered about some of these questions but have hesitated to explore because you aren't really ready to make a change. Have you ever thought, "If I even bring up the subject, is everyone going to worry I have a problem?" If that's the case, we have something you might like! MiraCosta College Health Services sponsors anonymous, online screenings. Click here  to access all of our mental health screenings and select "worried about my drinking habits - alcohol use screen." Then answer a few questions. We have no way to identify it is you. Only you will see your results. Hopefully it will give you some useful information! Whether or not your results

Now Recruiting Peer Educators!

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  Do you want to help other students? Do you think there should be no shame or embarrassment in seeking support? Would you like to explore a potential career in mental health or health education? Consider joining the Health Services team as a Peer Educator! The time to apply is NOW! Apply online here - due Friday 9/3/21. Interviews (by invitation) will be Wednesday, 9/8, 1pm-3pm, and Monday, 9/13, 11am-1pm. Students will be notified of acceptance the week of the 13th. Still want to know more?  Save the date for one of two info-sessions, Thursday, 8/26/21 at 5pm OR Tuesday, 8/31/21 at 3pm, Zoom link here or use: 995 5114 7359, password: PEERS. Tell me the details ! Location: On campus (primarily virtual with occasional, optional opportunity for outside, socially distanced service) Time Commitment: 15 to 30* hours/semester (option for more if desired) *15 hours is the minimum, 30 hours required by some classes, including the social work certificate. Ideal Students: Interested in explor

Sleep Hygiene

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Sleep Hygiene TIPS  FROM  MENTAL  HEALTH  COUNSELOR JAYA  ROY,  M. A.,  A. S. W. WHAT  IS  SLEEP  HYGIENE? Sleep hygiene is a series of practices and habits that cue your mind and body to relax and prepare for sleep. It's most effective when practiced daily. Common sleep hygiene tips are: Limit naps, caffeine intake, and screen time (especially screen time 1-2 hours before bed). Do something physical in your day. Wake up and go to bed about the same time every day.  Aim for 7- 8 hours of sleep. Have a comfortable sleeping environment (i.e. keep temperature about 65 degrees, and have a comfy pillow and mattress). Have a soothing bedtime routine and make it your own! Part 1 of  The Soothing  Bedtime Routine: 1 hour-2 hours before bedtime UNLOAD  BUT  DON'T  PROCESS You can write down your to-do's and things to remember as well as thoughts or feelings into a planner and/or journal. However don't spend time trying to dig deep into your emotions, this is just to get whatever

COVID Vaccine Q&A

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  COVID Vaccine Q&A By Kim Marquardt, MSN-RN, Director of Health Services *The following information was accumulated to the best of my knowledge and understanding with the research I have done. Please consult your medical provider for more information and before making any healthcare decisions. How did the vaccine development happen so fast? The lengthy process in the development of vaccines mostly has to do with the length of time it takes to conduct the clinical trials - specifically to recruit participants, and then wait for those participants (who were either vaccinated or given a placebo) to naturally be exposed to the disease and collect data on level of immunity in the vaccinated group. Before COVID, every vaccine developed was done so for diseases that were relatively rare plus it was difficult to get participants for the clinical trials in general. With COVID, the disease was very widespread (meaning lots of people were being exposed all the time), and individuals were ve

Let's Talk About It! [Podcast]

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  By Abby Burd, LCSW, full time Mental Health Counselor and Peer Educator Coordinator. Student Health Services believes strongly that everyone benefits from having a safe and confidential place to talk. The Peer Educators are current MiraCosta College students who share our passion. They are a bridge between students and Health Services and help share the message that it is okay to not be okay, it's okay to ask for help, and with help, there is hope. Our Peer Educators also happen to be creative and talented. A few of our Peer Educators, including Yesenia, Alexa, Alexandria and Esther, started a podcast! Listen here on Spotify . The first three episodes are currently up. Episode one introduces the Peer Educator program. Hear about it from the student perspective and meet some of the spring and fall 2021 Peers.  Episode two takes a deeper dive into COVID and how the pandemic has impacted the lives and mental health of community college students. Episode three highlights healthy ways